We were sat in the living room of arguably the greatest player in the world.
It was the week after we released the first SKOI album.
When one of your heroes calls you a genius , you never doubt yourself ever again.
Three years ago , I was a total mess after breaking up with my girlfriend..
I was drinking too much, we all were and if it wasn't for music then we would probably all be dead.
The first album wrote itself, it was very quick, every track one take.
It's just some absolutely broken man, talking about his world crashing down
but this incredible, beautiful, atmospheric music.
I wish now that we hadn't rushed into playing live because we just weren't ready
especially when when we played at Manchester Academy and started drinking 12 hours before the gig
but I don't think I cared what people thought about me, I just knew I was good at songwriting and nobody could take it off me.
Standing on that stage looking out at the faces, I was thinking, I have done it, I don't have fear, it's easy.
It sounds like a cliche
but that is exactly what happened.
Although the first performances are definitely not our best , you could argue that it
gave us the confidence to play live.
There was a lot of arguing about why practice is a good idea as opposed to why its not
and going on stage completley unprepared.
but in reality, practice is essential no matter what art, craft, sport etc that you're in,
and the old notion of winging it and getting away with it is a complete load of bullshit.
And I always tried to get my point across with a story about what happened to me in Japan.
I went over to tokyo in 2006 and during that time I met many musicians. I was set to play a small bar
(one of my favourite bars in japan!). I was supposed to just play a 12 bar blues thing with a friend who I met over there.
We were told that there was an amazing harmonica player who lived local and would join us.
The night came and on we went, I thought I could just get up and play like always and it'd be a piece of piss...
that wasn't to happen. We got set up and were then introduced to Mr harmonica. He was absolutely bladdered. He could hardly speak
let alone blow the harp.
We started to play and it was mad, he just made a mad slavery noise and we tried to play a steady 12 bar, I tried to improvise
over my mate but it just wasn't there, it all sounded horrendous. I remember looking at all the faces in shock, looking like
they were witness to something unfathomable. I always thought up until that moment that I could have played anywhere.
Being unprepared, cocky and out of my depth made me reevaluate how I wanted to play music.
All these things were happening for us, magazines reviewed the album, we played all of our favourite venues
and did the soundtrack to a film and stood on the red carpet at the premiere.
One night, I was in a hotel room and our song 'Stars' came on the radio.. my favourite DJ Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music.. Wow!
When we released our second album 'Souls' we could only think of one person who we wanted to do the artwork, so we contacted
Joolz Denby from 'New Model Army' not thinking for a second that she would do it.
When she came back to us with this beautiful image for the album and said she liked our music, it totally blew our minds.
These amazing moments that we couldn't really enjoy because we were all in such a dark place.
We might not be a huge band or be rich and famous but we have already achieved more than we ever imagined.
Its strange at first to hear songs that you have written being played on a radio station. We have played music for years ,
it was just part of life and to play live never occured to us. I sometimes wonder what it'd be like if we had started to do what we do now, 20 years ago.
In December , we had our biggest show to date , it was at the 02 Ritz Manchester.
We found out that our hotel bar was open 24 hours a day so to celebrate this amazing news , we headed straight for the bar.
We knew that load in and soundcheck for the gig was at 4pm, so we would get a taxi at 3.45 as the venue was not very far away , just across the city.
At 3.45, there was no taxi and no taxi's available anywhere. We went into panic mode.
I'm not sure whos idea it was but within 10 minutes we had about 10 thousand pounds worth of music equiptment in laundry baskets , wheeling them through Christmas shoppers and crazy traffic.
That was one of the funniest days I have had in this band.
It was brilliant to play on such a big stage and a night I will never forget.
2018 is going to be a great year for us, we already played an amazing show in Berlin and we have started work on the new record.
Most importantly though , we are in control again , not abusing ourselves with alcohol and drugs..
just totally in love with our music.
LOUDER THAN WAR REVIEW: http://louderthanwar.com/some-kind-of-illness-awakening-exclusive-previewreview/